Re-filling the Creative Well

We feel sluggish, uninterested and uninspired in our art and don't know why. We push on, but nothing we do really speaks to us.

It's time to get out and be fed.

Julia Cameron calls it the Artist Date, I call it re-filling the creative well and you may call it something else, but it essentially means the same thing: seeking inspiration so we can continue doing what we do.

We know it's important, but how many of us do it?

"An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers. You do not take anyone on this artist date but you and your inner artist, a.k.a. your creative child."

~ Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

In The Artist's Way, Ms Cameron advocates two tools to foster creativity: daily Morning Pages (stay tuned for a future post on this one someday) and the weekly Artist Date. Through morning pages we communicate creative dreams out to the Universe, through Artist Dates we receive insights and inspiration.

I totally dig that.

After nine days of pretty intense art-making and what felt like endlessly tweaking a piece in progress I craved a change of scenery and remembered Ms Cameron's words, so I a) put the piece I was tweaking aside for a few days and b) decided that it was time to get out and take in some inspiration - see what insights the Universe had to offer.

results of an invigorating artist date (parking ticket not included in the picture)

After a few hours spent at the library, a favourite thrift shop and a frou-frou funky clothing boutique my creative well overfloweth. Armed with books on artists and creative spaces, borrowed movies and some new crafting supplies I am giddy and ready to roll!

Do not underestimate the power of an Artist Date whether it's an afternoon spent lingering on the town or fifteen minutes stolen during a lunch break. After today's few hours I'm a believer.

Re-filling the creative well helps keep art-making sustainable. Period.


What five things could you do to re-fill the creative well?